FeaturesPokemon

2020: Pokémon TCG In A Nutshell

Pokemon TCG 2020

The year of lockdown, self-isolating, masks, elections, online food orders, next-gen consoles, and… Pokémon trading cards?

Since the inception of Pokémon TCG in English in 1999, the trading card game has been on an upwards trend with collectors and players alike. The franchise that’s grown up with children of every generation thanks to its ever-increasing roster of characters, games, tv shows, and trading card expansions has seen drastic growth over the last 12 months. After the initial Pokémon craze in the early 2000s saw millions upon millions of children open booster packs in the hope of obtaining their favourite Pokémon, whether that was MewTwo, Growlithe or Charizard — All over the world, children were battling in playgrounds and trading with friends with their binders stuffed into their backpacks.

Like all collectibles during initial production the minority decided to keep product sealed or preserve their cards immaculately. The added playable factor and target audience of late 90s/early naughties kids means that as of today the demand for pristine condition Pokémon cards from two decades ago far outweighs the supply.


So, why in 2020 has the market value of Pokémon TCG seen exponential growth across the whole landscape of the hobby?

Firstly, in times of a pandemic and global struggle people need home comforts to attach onto and provide the nostalgia of better times. Pokémon booster pack openings provide the same feeling that a lot of us had as children and in times when there’s very few happy experiences going on, this sense of excitement from nostalgia is almost priceless.

There’s also new wealth in the world, celebrities are now media moguls running YouTube channels and influencing via social media to their target audiences of millions. Logan Paul, Logic, Steve Aoki, Justin Bieber have all expressed their interest in Pokémon TCG and as such their followers have dived on the opportunity of investment success.

The reach of the Logan Paul’s of the world cannot be underestimated and it’s exactly these celebrities who were children 20 years ago unable to obtain the holo Charizard they oh so craved.

“There is an incredible shift, many wealthy people aged 39-42 would rather have a Charizard Holo 1st edition PSA 9 than a piece of modern art (…) and express their wealth through graded sports, Pokémon, and alternative cards. This effect will trickle down.”

American entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk (GaryVee)

As soon as someone decides to dive into spending a substantial sum of money on a trading card collectible one of their first thoughts is: how do I make sure this is authentic, worth investing in, and is this a prospect for longterm investment or a quick flip. This has seen an incredible influx in demand for graded cards, companies like PSA flooded with submissions and values of PSA graded cards soaring on third-party marketplaces.

The trickle down effect is no more apparent than with XY Evolutions, a set that was excessively printed for the 20th anniversary in 2016 that retailers had readily available until this year. As the price of Base set soars, the average joe wants that same nostalgic pack opening experience and Evolutions is the closest thing available. Prices have risen to over $500 a booster box when they could be purchased for around $150 back at the start of the year, and the regular holo Charizard currently sells for over $5000 in a PSA 10.

Pokemon TCG Evolutions

Grade your cards, protect your investment.


Whether you’ve got binders in your attic or have been collecting Pokémon cards for two decades, companies like Ludkins Collectables offer grading services to send away your most prized cards to PSA. Once the card returns authenticated and graded, each individual card becomes a genuine investment piece comparable to a share on the stock market. In an industry that continues to grow from strength to strength, who knows what the future holds as graded card prices continue to climb on a weekly, if not daily, basis.

As an investment opportunity for millennials, Pokémon not only fills a nostalgic void that helps make the days a little brighter in the current global pandemic but gives a great opportunity to understand the stock market, collect some of the most beloved characters in media history, and have fun in a positive community all at once. The future for Pokémon is bright, there’s a 25th anniversary on the very near horizon and the continued upwards trend of Pokémon collectibles doesn’t look like halting anytime soon.

John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor

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